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Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac
Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t officially available on Mac, but there are quite a few ways you can still play this game on a Mac computer. The easiest way to run Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac is through cloud gaming, but you can also try with Windows emulation.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a highly-popular action-adventure single-player role-playing game released in December 2020 by CD Projekt. The game employs familiar RPG elements, combining them with more FPS-oriented gameplay compared to other more conventional role-playing games. Cyberpunk 2077 was highly anticipated for years before its release, and gamers had very high expectations for it. After its release, however, there were a lot of mixed opinions regarding how good the game really is. If you haven’t yet tried Cyberpunk 2077 and are on the fence about purchasing it, here’s what we think about the current state of the game.
Note: This article has been updated for the start of 2022.
Setting, premise, and story
Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in a megacity called Night City, located in the free state of North California. As the name of the game would suggest, the story takes place in the near future of the year 2077 and revolves around the game’s protagonist, named V, who, depending on the backstory you choose, can be a Nomad, a Streetkid, or a Corpo. Each option affects the gameplay and story in different ways, but the core storyline stays mostly the same. We want to avoid getting into spoiler territory, so we will just say that the story in Cyberpunk is one of the stronger aspects of the game. Not only is the main story very well-written, but the same can be said about the various side-quests that you can take. If you like playing a game for its story and this is an important aspect for you, then you should be satisfied with what Cyberpunk 2077 has to offer in that department.
The setting of the game is also translated to the player’s screen in a very immersive and engaging way. Night City is exactly what you’d imagine a futuristic would look like. Naturally, there are a lot of Blade Runner vibes in here, which fans of this type of sci-fi will surely appreciate. However, we have one particular issue with Night City, and that is its NPCs – most of them look lifeless and unconvincing – they hardly react to the player and seem very generic overall. This takes away from the immersion, and immersion is everything in an RPG. Of course, some players may simply not notice that, but for those who do, this may take away a bit from the overall experience.
The gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077 is primarily RPG-focused, but it also heavily incorporates FPS elements, and it also offers a decent driving system, which is somewhat uncommon for most RPG games. In Cyberpunk 2077, you are always playing from a first-person perspective except for when you are driving vehicles, at which point the camera switches to third-person.
Since you control your character from a first-person perspective, it’s only natural if combat feels a lot like you are playing an FPS. Compared to an actual first-person shooter game, Cyberpunk’s gunplay may not be as refined, but it’s still adequate and doesn’t diminish the overall experience. Shooting at enemies feels snappy, and the guns are loud and pack quite a punch. You get to aim down the barrel of a gun for better precision or aim with the crosshair for better mobility – again, typical FPS mechanics added to an RPG game. The only potential downside here is that a lot of the hostile NPCs can feel like a bullet-sponge, taking a lot more ammo to go down than they have any right to. In some cases, even a direct headshot isn’t sufficient to take down certain enemies.
Gunplay isn’t the only part of the combat, however – there’s also stealth and melee. Melee in Cyberpunk is mostly generic – it’s not bad, but it’s also not anything to write home about. After getting certain character enhancements (more on that in a bit), melee combat can be a bit more fun, but for the most part, it’s workable at best.
Stealth, on the other hand, while still not perfect, is well integrated with the futuristic world of Cyberpunk 2077. There are a lot of cool ways you can sneak up on an enemy using different skills and tools, hacking into computer systems, and more. It’s not the most refined or elegant stealth system you’ll ever see, but it’s definitely a nice addition to the overall Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay.
Driving in Cyberpunk 2077 is surprisingly good, which is important because the game is set in the large Night City, where you’d need to do a lot of driving to get from point A to point B in a reasonably quick way. If driving was bad, it would quickly become noticeable and start to annoy you. Of course, this isn’t a game where driving is the main focus, but you can still have fun with it. The car movement can feel a bit floaty or bouncy from time to time, but the cars are fast, the handling is on point, and you can even get some decent drifting done at corners. Overall, the driving department is solid in Cyberpunk 2077, so nothing to complain about here.
On the RPG side of the game, you’ve got your player character, who is highly customizable – you can choose anything from their skin color, height, and body type to the color of their eyes, what tattoos they have (or if they have any tattoos), and even their genitalia (yes, that’s also a feature). You also get to choose a background for your character. There are three possible character background options: Nomad, Corp, and Streetkid. The choice you make here will affect some aspects of your character, as well as the way the in-game story progresses.
Once you are done customizing your character, the game starts with the backstory you’ve picked for them. Once you play through this introductory stage of the game, you can start with the main storyline. Although it’s supposed to be this superb RPG experience, the actual in-game RPG mechanics of Cyberpunk 2077 don’t feel as strong or as advanced. One of the best things you could do in an RPG (in our opinion) sees the consequences of who their character is and what choices that character makes. Now, that is not to say that Cyberpunk doesn’t offer this type of freedom, but it just seems a bit subdued. For example, when talking to NPC characters, the dialogue options you get don’t seem to be too dependent on who your character is and what personality they have. You still get generally the same dialogue trees with the same response options. The main defining factor in the dialogues you get is the backstory of your character, but not what choices that character has made through the game up to a certain point. Again, this is not an absolute – there are exceptions, but it just feels like the game is holding back with this aspect of its gameplay.
Another thing to mention here is that, while the character progression and loot/crafting systems are adequate, they aren’t anything amazing. You get to collect items, craft items, and upgrade items, but there aren’t any notable intricacies here. It’s quite straightforward, which could be a good thing, but to us, it seems like more could have been done there. On the plus side, you get the option to install body modifications to your character, which could be a lot of fun. You can make their legs stronger for longer/higher jumps, enhance their vision, give them various resistances to different types of damage, or install retractable blades in their arms for melee combat (this is when melee combat starts to become more fun). Overall, the RPG components in Cyberpunk 2077 aren’t bad, but for a game that had such hype surrounding it, we were expecting a bit more.
Playability across different platforms
And so we come to the main issue with Cyberpunk 2077 – the downsides mentioned thus far can be overlooked, and while they may prevent the game from being as good as it can be, none of them can be seen as a particularly serious issue. When it comes to playability, however, there are some significant downsides that should be pointed out. Note that this is being written sometime after the game’s release, and a lot of the bugs have been fixed by now. Still, for all the hype it had, Cyberpunk has some pretty serious playability and optimization problems. For starters, the console versions of the game are much worse than its PC version. Most of them outright look bad and though some improvements have been made there, we’d still not recommend them. Then again, here we are talking about playing Cyberpunk 2077 on a Mac, and to do that, you’d need to use the PC version, which, fortunately, is the best one. Despite this, however, even the PC version has a bunch of issues. For starters, it’s not very well optimized and Cyberpunk 2077 is already a rather demanding game, so a lot of systems that should technically be able to run it will likely struggle to keep a decent framerate. Another issue is the variety of bugs and glitches that are in the game. For the most part, there’s nothing game-breaking, but it’s still odd to see a game that has been out for over a year and that had a lot of resources and work put into it in the first place have so many unpolished details. That said, the current state of the game, at the start of 2022, is significantly better. A lot of the glitches and bugs of the Windows version have been taken care of, and the game has been better optimized to use the computer’s resources more efficiently. That said, it’s still not perfect and further improvements need to be made until everything is smoothed out.
In our opinion, Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t a bad game – it is an immersive and engaging RPG with well-integrated FPS elements and gunplay and surprisingly adequate driving. However, it’s most certainly not a perfect game or a masterpiece, which is okay, but the high expectations set by the hype surrounding the game have led to a lot of bitter disappointment to those, who’ve had waited years for Cyberpunk 2077 to be released. Additionally, the initial abundance of bugs, the bad optimization for PC, and the abysmal console versions of the game further incited the dissatisfaction that a lot of players had with this game. Now, over a year later after its initial release, a lot of improvements have been made to the technical side of Cyberpunk 2077, so that its PC version currency has much fewer and a lot less noticeable bugs, and its console version, too, have seen some improvement. Since you are likely a Mac user, the PC version is the one you can potentially run on your Mac. In the next lines, you will learn all about the different ways you could do that.
Can you play Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac?
Yes, you can play Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac, but you will need to use a cloud gaming platform such as Boosteroid, or resort to Windows emulation. Playing Cyberpunk 2077 via cloud gaming is much easier, which is why this is what we recommend.
Like many other popular AAA games, Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t made available for Mac systems. This, however, doesn’t that it’s not possible to run this game on a Mac. Of course, none of the workaround methods that you can use to run this game on a Mac would provide you the same experience as running it natively, on a Windows PC. Still, we believe that the methods below will give you the option to enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 on your Mac and get very close to the native PC experience.
How to play Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac
To play Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac, you can try running the game within a cloud gaming service, such as Boosteroid or GeForce Now. Alternatively, you may also be able to play Cyberpunk 2077 by first installing/emulating Windows on your Mac.
It is much easier to play this game with the help of cloud gaming and below, we will show you two cloud gaming platforms that can allow you to run Cyberpunk 2077 on your Mac.
Playing Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac with Boosteroid
Boosteroid is a quickly-growing cloud gaming platform that offers all the most popular AAA titles, including Cyberpunk 2077. All you’d need to run this game through Boosteroid is a Boosteroid account that’s subscribed to the service, a good Internet connection, and a browser.
Note 1: Playing games through Boosteroid is done within the browser. Generally, Boosteroid works fine with the majority of modern browsers, but the ones that are recommended to use with this service are Google Chrome and Opera. If you are using a different browser and are experiencing any performance issues, try using Boosteroid through either of those two recommended browsers.
Note 2: Boosteroid is a paid service that doesn’t have a free trial version. To get a general idea of what your performance with the service may be, you can use the Internet connection-testing tool available on the Boosteroid site after you register. The registration itself is free – you can get a paid subscription to Boosteroid after you are already registered.
Note 3: To be able to play Cyberpunk 2077 through Boosteroid, you must own the game on Steam or Epic Games Store.
- To use Boosteroid for playing Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac, you first need to register on the Boosteroid site – the registration itself is free.
- Next, log in to your Boosteroid account, search for Cyberpunk 2077 in the search bar, and open the Steam or the Epic Games Store version of the game, depending on where you’ve purchased the game.
- Click Play and then click Subscribe in the subscribe prompt that appears.
- Choose one of the two payment plans, then select a payment method, and provide the required payment details to get subscribed to the service.
- Back on the Boosteroid Cyberpunk 2077 page, click Play once again, then agree to connect to your Steam/Epic Games Account, and log in to the account when prompted to. After that, Cyberpunk 2077 will start in the browser. We recommend putting your browser into a full-screen mode and hiding its toolbar through its settings, so that the toolbar doesn’t stay at the top of your screen while you are playing the game.
Playing Cyberpunk 2077 with Geforce Now
To play Cyberpunk 2077 on your Mac using GeForce Now, you must create an account on the Nvidia website. Next, you must install the GeForce Now app like you would install any other application, and then you will be able to start playing Cyberpunk 2077.
However, before we show you exactly how to do this, we must mention some of the requirements for using this cloud gaming service. Even though most computers (even weaker and older ones) can support GeForce Now, there are still certain requirements that must be met, namely:
Hardware Requirements for GeForce Now
Unlike the specific hardware requirements listed for Windows machines, for Mac computers, Nvidia has made a list of different Mac models that have been tested with GeForce Now and have been confirmed to support the service without a problem. Here is the full list of Mac configurations that have been tested by Nvidia and have been confirmed to support GeForce Now:
- iMac 20” Late 2009 and newer
- iMac 21.5” Late 2009 or newer
- iMac 27” Late 2012 or newer
- MacBook 2008 and newer
- MacBook Retina Mid 2017 or newer
- MacBook Air 11” Early 2015 or newer
- MacBook Air 13” Late 2008 or newer
- MacBook Pro 13” Early 2015 or newer
- MacBook Pro 15” Late 2008 or newer
- MacBook Pro 17” 2009 or newer
- Mac Pro Late 2013 or newer
GeForce Mac OS Requirements
Nvidia states that the required macOS version needs to be at least 10.10. This version or anything above it should run the service without any problem.
Internet Connection Requirements
Even if you have a Mac model and OS version that can support GeForce Now you still need a good Internet connection for the streaming to be smooth and with low latency or else your gameplay experience would not be as good and you may not even be able to start a game if your connection is bad.
The minimum Internet connection speed required to play games over GeForce Now is 15Mbps, which is okay for playing with a 720p resolution at 60 frames per second. If you want to play with a 1080p resolution and 60 FPS, the connection speed must be at least 25Mbps. It is also suggested that you use an Ethernet cable to connect to the Internet or, if you are using Wireless, your router must provide a frequency of at least 5GHz.
Obviously, since you are going to be gaming, you’d also need a keyboard and a mouse. The built-in MacBook keyboards or a USB keyboard would do perfectly fine but when it comes down to the mouse you are using, you will need to buy a USB mouse because the built-in Apple Magic Mouse doesn’t have a scroll wheel or dedicated left/right buttons, both of which are required to play most computer games, including Cyberpunk 2077.
Playing GeForce Now for Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac OS
Now that you have made sure that your Mac meets all of the requirements listed above, it is time to set up the service and finally start playing Cyberpunk 2077.
- First, go to the Nvidia site and create an account if you don’t have one, or log in to your Nvidia account if you are already registered.
- Next, choose the type of GeForce Now subscription that you prefer to join the service.
- Thirdly, download the GeForce Now app onto your Mac and drag it to the Applications folder so that it is where your other apps are.
- Next, open the GeForce Now app, and log in to your Nvidia account from the interface of the app.
- Connect your GeForce Now to a third-party gaming library, such as Steam or GOG, where you have an account and fill in your credentials for that account to connect to the library.
- Choose the game you want to play from the game library (Cyberpunk 2077 in the current case) and start it. The game will load shortly after and you can then begin playing.
- Important note!: In order to play any game via GeForce Now, you must already own that game on the respective game library. If you do not own a particular game that you want to play, you will have to purchase it first on the respective game library. On the Nvidia site, you can find a list of all games that are supported by the GeForce Now service as well as the game library from where you can purchase them. Cyberpunk 2077, in particular, can be bought either from Steam or from GOG.
- GeForce Now supports over 1000 popular game titles and has a big number of pre-installed games on its gaming servers. However, not all of those over 1000 games are pre-installed so if you want to play a game that isn’t already installed on the GeForce server that you are using, you will have to wait a couple of minutes for the game to be installed before you can start playing.
How to download Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac
To download Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac and be able to play it, your only two options are to install or to emulate Windows on your Mac. You can use Boot Camp or Parallels to install/emulate Windows and download Cyberpunk 2077 on your Mac.
Installing Windows with Boot Camp
- Go to Microsoft and download a Windows 10 ISO file.
- Open Boot Camp Assistant (located in the Utilities folder) and load the ISO file in it.
- Adjust the partition disk space distribution.
- Click Install, follow the installation prompts, and launch the installation.
- Personalize the Windows settings, install required Apple drivers, and download Cyberpunk 2077 in the Windows partition of your Mac.
Emulating Windows with Parallels
- Get Parallels and install it on your Mac.
- Get a Windows 10 ISO file (for Intel Macs) or a Windows 11 ARM file (for M1 Macs).
- Load the Windows 10/11 file in Parallels and create a Parallels virtual machine with the Games Only setting.
- Download and install Cyberpunk 2077 within the Parallels VM.
Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac M1
To play Cyberpunk 2077 on Mac M1, it is recommended that you use cloud gaming. If you want to first download Cyberpunk 2077 to play it on your Mac M1, you will need to first emulate Windows by creating a Parallels virtual machine.
M1 Macs can’t get Windows 10 installed on them through the Boot Camp Assistant app due to the different architecture of the M1 chip compared to that of the Intel processors. This means that the Boot Camp Assistant method we mentioned above cannot be used on an M1 Mac. Cloud gaming, however, is still a viable way of running Cyberpunk on your M1 Mac. On the other hand, if you really want to download the game in order to play it, your best chance of doing this is to create a Parallels virtual machine for Windows 11 and then download and play the game from within the VM.